Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.

What’s going ‘on’:

Small firms’ online business tapers off:Surprisingly, the number of small firms taking orders online has fallen from 59 percent to 50 percent over the past year, while those receiving payments over the internet have fallen from 71 percent to 62 percent, according to a new study.

Presidential race deadlocked: President Obama and Mitt Romney are virtually tied in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, with the president collecting 46 percent among registered voters and the Repubican challenger taking 47 percent.

Republican convention opens: Delayed by Tropical Storm Isaac, the Republican National Convention officially came to order Monday with a prayer for those in the path of the storm and an abbreviated round of attacks on President Obama’s first term.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Slowdown threatens small business retirement dreams: A slowing economic recovery has distanced several small business owners from their retirement dreams, while another says his focus on building not exiting give him confidence regarding his future finances. Still another notes that, for those whose business is indeed their passion, retirement concenrns are not merely financial, but also emotional.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to avoid cost-cutting mistakes (Entrepreneur)

How to run a business in a small town (NuWire)

How to fight back against negativity (Forbes)

How to secure angel funding (Wall Street Journal)